Failure to store MDF boards safely led to 17-year-old joinery apprentice being crushed to death

A company director has been fined following the death of a 17-year-old apprentice.

Christopher John Pridmore, from Mansfield, was fined £7,500 and ordered to pay costs of £2,500 at Nottingham crown court after pleading guilty to breaching the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

The incident occurred on 6 November 2006, when a stack of MDF boards fell on Simon Murphy, who was working as an apprentice at the workshop of Chris Pridmore Joinery.

He later died in Kings Mill hospital from serious head injuries.

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector Maureen Kingman said: “The boards were stored on top of a bench in the workshop and fell because a bracket that was intended to restrain them was not strong enough to support their weight. The bracket failed after only a week in use.

“Mr Pridmore neglected to provide safe arrangements for the storage of sheets of MDF boards. The bracket, which had been produced to Mr Pridmore's design, posed inherent risk and its use as part of the storage system was ill conceived. I hope other company directors can learn from this incident.”

In a statement released via the HSE, Simon Murphy's family said: “Simon is thought of and greatly missed every day by all his family. While the loss of Simon is not lessened we are all pleased that the court case has been concluded and that we can 'draw a line' and continue our lives.”